Those of you have come across this blog despite the incredible lack of content lately may have noticed that, compared to last year, when I was obsessively grading wide receivers (if this were a decent blog I would link here to one of my posts from last year, but I haven't archived any old posts for at least a year [UPDATE: Oh wait, here's one]), there has been here at Hornswaggler a dearth of hair-splitting, futile pre-draft analysis and foolhardy prognostication regarding what the Eagles are going to do in Saturday's NFL draft.
There's a reason for this. The hangover from the Eagles' Super Bowl loss never fully abated. Vomitgate was finally explained, sort of, when we learned that McNabb had been hit by Tedy Bruschi on the Eagles' second-to-last possession, hence perhaps his lack of, you know, urgency, though the whole thing is still weird and it's established our quarterback is a booter and I still think Donovan needs psychotherapy. We've never gotten an adequate explanation as to why Andy Reid choked and got out-coached by Bill Belichek and so I'm still vacillating wildly between whether I like or dislike the guy.
But just when the hangover was going away, this mess with T.O. demanding a restructured contract surfaced. Before we get to that, a quick look at the Eagles' offseason moves: resigning Jeremiah Trotter. Yay! Letting Derrick Burgess go. Nyeh. Counting on N.D. Kalu ("Indy! Kalu your heart!") to replace Burgess' production. Boo! Ike Reese signing with Atlanta. Sniff. Fare thee well, braveheart! But also, Nyeh, he's replaceable. Signing Mike McMahon as backup QB. Mmmm, ho ho! You intrigue me, Sir. Who is this thick-necked quarterback of which you speak? Koy Detmer looked like deuce in the final two meaningless post-season games last year and should be demoted to the 3rd string. Signing Hugh Douglas to one-year contract. Ehh, why not?
But now we face the prospect of getting rid of T.O., if things go horribly wrong, and Freddie Mitchell is a Waived Man Walking, so that leaves us with the possibility of Greg Lewis and Todd Pinkston as the holdovers at wide receiver. This is ... how do you say? ... alarming.
With Owens' unhappiness, and Tra Thomas' unhappiness, and Brian Westbrook's unhappiness, and Corey Simon's unhappiness looming, all regarding their contract status, my reservations about the fact that Andy Reid is both the head coach and the GM are increasing in intensity. Because the same guy who refuses to pay Player X is the same guy coaching Player X, where it might be better to have a good coach/bad GM dynamic, and the potential for all of this to blow up team chemistry is disconcerting. It's also depressing that the T.O. dream season, marred as it was by real and manufactured controversy, may end up being a one-time deal.
On the bright side, the Eagles have a lot of draft picks, so they have a real chance to get better over the weekend, and I look forward to it.
Not paying attention. On the one hand, GM Billy King finally made a good move, bringing in Chris Webber and getting rid of Kenny Thomas and Brian Skinner, two mediocre players whom King gave ridiculously lucrative contracts that limited the Sixers' financial flexibility. On the other, Webber is gimpy and not the force inside that would really elevate this team to elite status. Back to the other hand, the deal is still a good one because Webber only has one year left on his contract, which means the Sixers will really have some choices in 2006/2007. And the Sixers finally have some young players who are worth holding onto: Andre Iguodala is untouchable. If he is traded, it'll be the last straw, and the Sixers will be dead to me. Kyle Korver must also be kept. Samuel Dalembert and Marc Jackson inside is not a bad combination. What the Sixers need is a really good point guard who can shoot to spell Iverson and an answer for the future at the 4. Next year should be exciting, provided Webber spends the entire summer moving between an ice bath and a whirlpool and being injected with steroids.
The Sixers chances in the Eastern Conference this year, though ... Not good.